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Failure in engineering, please help

  1. Aug 22, 2007 #1
    After 2 years of Electrical Engineering studies I want to change to something else. What would be the most appropriate field and the closest to engineering but not engineering, sort of?


    *****I couldn't handle it, too hard for me. I am so sad and stressed , I am in trouble.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2007 #2
    I guess you shall provide more background about yourself in order to receive constructive advices.

    First of all, don't be sad and stressed.
    I guess there are/were many people facing similar problems as you do, and this is a "solve-able" problem anyway.
    So, calm down and provide some more background about yourself, like:
    Why did you choose electrical engineering?
    Are you in trouble with the mathematics in EE or the physics in EE? How's your academic background?
    Do you have other interests? etc....

    The more background you provide, the better advice will come to you. Cheers
     
  4. Aug 22, 2007 #3

    berkeman

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    What are your other interests? It sounds like you would do better if you were studying in a field that really interested you. Chemistry, biomedical, finance, etc.?
     
  5. Aug 22, 2007 #4
    Is it that you do not like the work or that you do not understand it?

    If you like EE, then don't leave it. Just work harder. Figure out the source of your troubles and attack it.

    If you do hate it, then definitely change majors ASAP.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2007 #5
    I find it too hard.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2007 #6
    I suggest you post more information in this thread so we can help you. Just making a thread and sobbing in it wont do you any good, and quite frankly I find it pathetic and immature.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2007 #7

    G01

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    This won't help. What do you find hard? The math? The Physics? Do you not understand what you are doing? If your problem is just that it is "too hard," they you are in agreement with about everyone. Most normal people find science and engineering to be hard and challenging, even those who do it. The difference is that scientists and engineers love what they do, no matter how hard it is. They're love for the profession greatly outweighs the frustrations occasionally encountered. Maybe engineering just isn't as enjoyable for you as you thought it would be? If you tell us your interests we can recommend some majors or career paths that may interest you.

    Without more information, you may end up in the same situation with one of our recommendations.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2007 #8

    berkeman

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    Yeah, I think we all feel pretty similar on this thread. But I know that I had hints of these feelings in my undergrad, as I adjusted from very easy high school acomplishments to the harsh realities of college, so I'm inclined to give the OP one chance to ask for advice to get them back on track.

    Hey OP, how hard are you willing to work? What are your passions?
     
  10. Aug 22, 2007 #9

    cristo

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    I'm not an engineer; my undergrad degree is in maths, but I definitely felt the feelings of doubt in the first year of university. I started skipping lectures, which escalated into missing a good 6 weeks of lectures, as I really didn't follow anything that was being taught to us. I managed to get back on track though by taking some time out and going home for a while.

    I'm not trying to put across a sob story here-- it's all a long way in the past anyway-- but I'm merely saying that a lot of people have doubts about their abilities to study their course. It is, in the majority of cases, well worth sticking with it though. I would suggest (to the OP) to go and talk to your tutor (or whatever you call it over there) or maybe a university counsellor, to try and sort things out.
     
  11. Aug 23, 2007 #10
    guys, I really, really do appreciate you are trying to help me. I do want to graduate from EE program. I did study ( at least I think I did) and I got bad marks, I got slightly under 2.0 and it's unacceptable by the university, they put me on probation and limited my courses to 3 courses for September instead of at least 4 or 5 courses for the next semester, and 2 from those 3 courses are repeats bcs I got Ds.
    Why I got under 2.0 my GPA is bcs I failed Java course amd got Ds in electrical courses.

    I did very good in physics and excellent in math; As and Bs.

    I feel I really do have a problem. I don't know how to get better marks on my exams.

    Instead of taking my 5th semester (3rd year) courses I was told I have to take those courses where I got 53% (D) last year from my 2nd year.
     
  12. Aug 23, 2007 #11

    learningphysics

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    Do you think you understand the material well?
     
  13. Aug 23, 2007 #12
    When I do my exercises all questions and checking solutions I get feeling I understand all material and I think I am ready for exams, I do well on lab projects, but I get low % on my exams.
     
  14. Aug 23, 2007 #13

    learningphysics

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    How about your exam problems... when you get them back and look at the solutions... do you understand them? Are they harder than your homework problems?
     
  15. Aug 23, 2007 #14
    that's true my exam problems are much harder than my home problems and my exams I find are completely different than the material what prof was teaching. I told them and He says; Oh what do you expect you have to know it.
     
  16. Aug 23, 2007 #15

    learningphysics

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    Hmmm... I think you might just need to work more problems before your exams... if you've still got those tests, and you're repeating the course... then work those problems over and over... Maybe try to find other old tests from the same course... find problems from other texts... try to work the hardest problems... The most important thing I found in EE was working problems... over and over... don't just look through your old solutions... do the exercises again, then when you're done compare it to your old solutions to see if you did it right...

    But the question is if you really like EE... is it something you're really passionate about... If you could do any career you wanted, what would you choose?
     
  17. Aug 23, 2007 #16

    Defennder

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    Well I don't know about your university but for mine, they practise a policy where they refuse to reveal the solutions for their papers even for exams conducted years ago. So, yes you have the questions from past years but no answer to countercheck and certainly no way to know if you're right unless you bug your professor to check your work after you've done them.
     
  18. Aug 23, 2007 #17

    G01

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    I would suggest working problems that involve multiple concepts as opposed to problems that only focus on one concept (ask a professor or TA for suggestions). This way, one problem can help to cement multiple concepts in your mind. Also, it will help you prepare for exams since these problems will also be more complicated and involved, as it seems your test problems are.
     
  19. Aug 23, 2007 #18

    BobG

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    If you did well in physics and math, then perhaps it's just the circuits and you'd do better in a different engineering field. Probably not, though.

    Generally, your early physics and math courses consist of learning how to use a tool - science or math. You don't put a whole lot of original thought into it. Not completely true, since the real challenge to calculus is in setting up your equation and that takes some analysis of the probem you're trying to solve, but neither involves design.

    I'm suspecting that the design portion is the part you're having problems with. Personally, I think that would be better taught in the lab projects, since you have more time to think and you don't toss in the stress element, but forcing some serious thought on the tests isn't unusual.

    Any engineering field you pick, it's not going to be the type of major where you learn how to do things by a checklist. You learn something and then have to use what you learn to create something new (probably not new to the world if it's a college course, but pretty new to you). That's an approach that takes a little getting used to at first.

    I wouldn't necessarily decide electrical engineering is too hard because of a Circuits I course being to difficult. It's going to be incredibly difficult for two reasons:

    1) You're going to use things like Node Voltage Analysis and Mesh Current over and over and over and if you don't know it cold, you might not pass a single course after Circuits I.

    2) You ought to toss in a pretty good discriminator pretty early into the curriculum. If a person can't handle a particular major, it's better to find out in the first or second year rather than senior year. Finding out you were in the wrong major senior year would be pretty crushing.

    Courses in your major probably won't get harder. They probably won't be that much easier, either. One of the wisest decisions I saw was the guy who finally passed Circuits I on his third try, then decided to change majors. Overcoming a serious obstacle through persistence and determination took some character, but he was honest enough about his own capabilities to decide he wasn't going to do that year after year.
     
  20. Aug 24, 2007 #19
    Thank you very much. Next week I will go to talk with my Dean and ask if I could take some more courses. Personally I think if they give me a chance to take some more new courses that I would do much better this time instead of repeats. What should I tell him? Thanks.
     
  21. Aug 24, 2007 #20

    chroot

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    Let's look at it like a flowchart. The way I see it, there are really only two top-level reasons why you can fail a class:

    1) You were not given sufficient instruction.
    2) You did not exert sufficient effort.


    Let's look at a (non-exhaustive) list of possible supporting causes of both:

    1) You were not given sufficient instruction.

    • The instructor's lectures were not clear.
    • You were not able to pay close attention to all lectures.
    • The instructor did not cover material used on tests.
    • The instructor did not make it clear what he/she considered "mastery" of the material.
    • You are suffereing from dyslexia, poor eyesight, or some other condition which is preventing you from learning normally.

    2) You did not exert sufficient effort.

    • You did not attend every class.
    • You were distracted by family problems, depression or other mental illness.
    • You had poor study habits, procrastinated on your assignments, etc.
    • You did not ask questions when topics were not clear to you.
    • You did not attend office hours or seek additional help outside of class.
    • You did not make effective use of resources available to you: TAs, textbooks, study groups, etc.

    Some of these failure modes could indicate a clearly "fixable" problem. For example, if you have a psychiatric condition or a minor learning disability, you can seek help and probably overcome it in time.

    Some of these failure modes indicate that you're not using the educational system effectively, and can also be fixed. For example, TAs' and professors' office hours are not superfluous; they are an integral part of your education. You're paying for those hours, so you should use them. If you feel behind or lost in a class, you should be present at the professor's office hours every single time until you're back on track.

    So, budala, can you tell us which of these factors are involved in your poor performance? Maybe we can give you some more pertinent advice.

    - Warren
     
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